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AFAIK there was no "entire package of treaties that defined the pre-Brexit EU-UK relationship?". At the time there where only the original 6 EU members in any case, and most relationships between European states, were governed by bilateral agreements, where they existed. Other than that you had some generic international Treaties like the UN, Geneva Convention etc., but nothing much to do with trade, and the WTO didn't exist.

It has always been a Brexiteer wet dream to negotiate separately and individually with EU member states, where the UK can negotiate from a position of strength.  But trade and and many other competencies within the EU are pooled or centralised at EU level, and so individual member states can't go off and do their own thing. This means the EU-27, have, collectively, far greater bargaining power, and also consistent relationships with each other.

Many Brexiteers still don't get this, imagining they can do side deals with smaller countries like Ireland, in order to undermine the EU collectivity. The irony is that the expansion of the EU from 9 to 27 members was largely driven by the British, as part of their cold war endeavours, but also to slow the pace of integration within.

The world has changed dramatically since 1973. There is no going back to an imagined past where Britannia rules the waves and the odd show of gunboat diplomacy usually did the trick. No deal also means no continuation of UK participation in blue skies, Interpol, Euratom: Atomic energy treaty, intelligence sharing, research sharing, Erasmus student exchange etc. - more or less everything bar NATO lapses, unless some piecemeal agreements are reached in due course. The UK is literally going out on its own.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Dec 12th, 2020 at 11:44:52 PM EST
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